Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Free of the tree!

I have been having drugs to help me sleep, and I'm happy to say that they work very well. They are of the sort that take you right out of this world for a few blessed hours, do not interrupt or significantly affect your dreams (some soporifics give one the most amazing Timothy Leary dreams, but such things are not for me) and you wake up feeling refreshed and alert. I wish I could take them all the time, because sleeping is for me usually something of a trial and doesn't often work out as one might hope.

Unfortunately, the beneficial effects of this drug can be had only when they are used in great moderation, and more than five days of it gives one first the phenomenon of diminishing returns, whereby one has to take more and more to get the same result, and then physical dependency which, though not difficult to break, can be uncomfortable for a few days. So, not really a long-term solution to my normal short, disturbed and intermittent sleeping patterns.

But they are ideal for short hospital stays and, with a set of industrial ear plugs, are part of my usual arsenal of coping tools. Nothing in the world will make me despondent more quickly than lying awake in a hospital bed at three am, hooked up to tubes, mentally begging a nurse to remember to come and shut off the hall light that she left blaring into my eyes after administering the last injection/pill/IV bag-o-death.

I am a light sleeper and moreso when in hospital with all my high-tension tripwire security neurons set to high alert, so it is always quite a shock when I have been sleeping under the influence of the wonder drug to open my eyes and find a nurse standing over me: "Senora Whaayt?" Due to some unavoidable delays, the regimen schedule was knocked off and they had to give me some of the drugs in the middle of the night, so on two occasions, I had happily drifted off to visit the mermaids and flying elephants, only to be rudely wrenched back into the hospital bed with a most apologetic looking lady in green scrubs standing over me holding up a big dissolvable pill.

But this morning, the nurse, who before I had woken had already injected into the IV tube the last of the detox drugs, took the last empty bag down from the drug tree and said, "Finish..."

I can't tell you what a relief it is to be quit of the drug tree, my constant companion for the weekend, festooned up top with lugubriously swaying bulbous plastic bags of colourless deadly substances, waving like poison fruit as I took my little strolls up and down the corridor, its tentacular tubes and little plastic gauges catching on door knobs, its wheels, that wanted to go in every direction at once, squeaking out their little reminder: "Things are not the same..."



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